I can’t believe Sesame Street is 40. I remember watching it as a child and loving it. I was three when it began but probably closer to five when our local PBS station started and began airing it. The street was simple then and not as polished as it is today. I remember the cool cartoons helping me count, the silly sketches that taught me to respect others and, of course, the muppets. My favorite was Grover. He was silly and loving and I had a soft spot for his big pink nose. One year, I received a stuffed Grover for Christmas and dragged him around the house for months after. My uncle called him “Ol’ Blue” and teased me for loving him.
When I was a little older, I remember the Watergate Hearings interrupting the program. I didn’t really watch Sesame Street on a regular basis but my sister did so I often sat down with her to enjoy my favorite friends. Later, I went to work for PBS and had a television behind my desk. The sound was never on and I rarely watched it, but it was there in case I received a programming call. Sesame Street ran from 8-9 a.m. so I often turned my chair around to enjoy a few minutes of it while I was drinking my coffee.
The show changed throughout the years and added characters I didn’t like (I’m talking to you, Elmo), but I’m not the target audience. The street has been polished up, the sketches have changed, Mr. Hooper died and life continued on Sesame Street. The core values have remained: treat each other with respect, learn new things, listen, share, say “please” and “thank you”. It’s sad that Cookie Monster no longer eats cookies the way he did, but times change. The bottom line is that we’re never too old for Sesame Street and the valuable lessons it teaches us.
Happy Birthday, Sesame Street. I hope you have 40 more years of fun!
My Sesame Street 25th birthday watch from when I worked at PBS!